According to Abbreviationfinder, with population of 3,956,971, Oklahoma is the 28th largest state among U.S. 50 states, and OK is the two letter abbreviation for Oklahoma. Here, we provide a list of major rivers and mountains in the state of Oklahoma.
Rivers in Oklahoma
The Red River is an approx. 1,966 km long tributary of the Mississippi and flows in northern Texas and southern Oklahoma as well as in the extreme southwest of Arkansas and in the north of Louisiana. The Red River forms part of the border between the states of Oklahoma and Texas. The river is created by the confluence of the Prairie Dog Town Fork, Elm, Salt and North Fork in northern Texas. Because of the red mineral rock in the headwaters, the river got the name Red River. In the past, the Red River was also the border between the United States and the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The Red River estuary is divided into two parts. Two arms form about 110 km northeast of the city of Baton Rouge in Louisiana, the western part of which flows into the Atchafalaya River and the eastern part into the Mississippi. In Louisiana, the Red River intersects the northern part of Louisiana diagonally from northwest to southeast.
The Canadian River is a tributary of the Arkansas River and has a length of approximately 1,458 km. The Canadian River flows through the state of Colorado, New Mexico, Texasand Oklahoma. The river’s name came about because the first explorers thought it would originate in Canada. However, the Canadian River originates in the state of Colorado in the mountain range of the Sangre de Cristo Range and flows from there in an easterly direction to its mouth in Oklahoma where it flows into the Arkansas River. In New Mexico the Canadian River flows in the northeast of the state and then flows in Texas through the northern part of the so-called Texas Panhandle. Finally, it flows through the central part of Oklahoma from west to east.
The Glover River with a length of approx. 53 km is a rather short tributary of the Little River and is located in the extreme southeast of Oklahoma. The Glover River is the last of the major rivers in Oklahoma that have not yet been regulated by dams. This makes the Glover River particularly suitable for canoeing. The Glover River is still an insider tip.
The Little River is an approximately 357 km long tributary of the Red River in southeast Oklahoma and southwest Arkansas. The Little River runs through the Ouchita Mountains in a principally southeast direction. On the banks of the Little River is also the Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas.
The Cimarron River has a length of approximately 1,123 km and is a tributary of the Arkansas River. The Cimarron River flows through the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma. The name of the river comes from the Spanish and means “Mustang”. The Cimarron River originates at Raton Pass in the Rocky Mountains in New Mexico and flows from there in principle towards its mouth. The state of Colorado flows through the Cimarron River for only about 15 km and then reaches Kansas. In Kansas, the Cimarron River flows through the Cimarron National Grassland and then the Cimarron Desert. In the Cimarron Desert, the river dries out completely in summer. In Oklahoma, the Cimarron River flows past the southern end of Black Mesa, the highest mountain in Oklahoma. The mouth of the Cimarron River is near the city of Tulsa in Oklahoma in the Keystone Lake in the Arkansas River.
Mountains in Oklahoma
The state of Oklahoma has a total of 4 large mountain ranges, the Ouachita Mountains (southeast), the Arbuckle Mountains (central), the Wichita Mountains (southwest) and the Ozark Mountains (northeast). The state’s highest mountain, Table Mountain Black Mesa, is in the far northwest of Oklahoma.
The Ouachita Mountains, or simply Ouachitas, are a mountain range that is located in the southeastern part of Oklahoma and in the western part of Arkansas are located. The Ouachita Mountains are a very old fold mountain range that originated around 300 million years ago. At the time the Ouachita Mountains were formed, they were roughly the height of today’s Rocky Mountains, but were eroded a long time ago due to their great age and are therefore more of a chain of hills in direct comparison. Their highest peak is Mount Magazine with a height of approx 839 m, which is also the highest elevation in the US state of Arkansas. Unlike most mountain ranges in the United States, the Ouachita Mountains run east-west instead of north-south. The Ouachita National Forest (Arkansas and Oklahoma), Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas) and many other state parks are located in the Ouachita Mountains. The Ouachita National Recreation Trail (Arkansas and Oklahoma) also runs here. This approx. 360 km long hiking trail leads through the mountain landscape and connects the Pinnacle Mountain State Park in Arkansas with the Talimena State Park in Oklahoma. For those who do not want to hike, the National Scenic Byway (comparable to the German concept of vacation or panorama roads) “Talimena Scenic Drive” offers itself, which is about 87 km long from Talihina in southeastern Oklahoma via Oklahoma State Highway 1 and Arkansas Highway 88 to Mena in southwest Arkansas.
The Arbuckle Mountains are a very old mountain range in the central part of Oklahoma. The granite formations of the Arbuckle Mountains are approximately 1.4 billion years old. The Arbuckle Mountains have an approx. 56 km long east-west extension and an approx. 16-24 km wide north-south extension. The Arbuckle Mountains are home to Turner Falls Park, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area and Lake of the Arbuckles.
The Wichita Mountains are a mountain range located in the southwestern part of Oklahoma. The Wichita Mountains run in a southeast-northwest direction over a length of approx. 97 km with a width of approx. 16 km. The mountain range probably originated around 330–290 million years ago and is therefore older than the Rocky Mountains. Over time, however, the mountains have been eroded away, so that mainly rock spurs are left today. Many of these rock spurs are covered with granite that is up to 540 million years old.
The highest peak in the Wichita Mountains is Haley Peak (officially this peak has no name) with a height of approx. 756 m. However, this can be found on private property. The third highest mountain in the Wichita Mountains, Mount Scott with a height of approx. 751 m, can be climbed on a paved road. Much of the southeastern end of the Wichita Mountains is from Fort Sill, a training area for US Army artillery shooters. The Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge is located in the Wichita Mountains area. The Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge is particularly popular with hikers and climbers and is the oldest of its kind in the entire United States. The Great Plains State Park is located in the center of the Wichita Mountains.
The Ozark Mountains, or simply Ozarks, are a highland region that covers almost half of the state of Missouri. Other states in which parts of the Ozarks are located are Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas. The heart of the Ozarks are the Saint Francois Mountains. The Ozarks form a huge plateau around them. With 122,000 km², the Ozarks are by far the largest mountain region between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains. However, the highest point in the region is only 540 meters above sea level. The Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas are often still included in the region. Ozark Mountains and Ouachita Mountains are correctly referred to as the US Interior Highlands. It is the only major mountainous area between the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States and the Rocky Mountains in the western United States.
The Black Mesa table mountain is located in the extreme northeast of the state of Oklahoma and is the highest elevation with a height of approx. The Black Mesa is located in the border area of the states of Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico and is therefore also in the latter two. Compared to its surroundings, the Black Mesa only has a height difference of 180 m. The basalt black mesa, however, stretches approximately 90 km in length and has long been shaped by erosion. The Black Mesa Nature Preserve and Black Mesa State Park are located here. From the Black Mesa Nature Preserve, an approximately 6.7 km long hiking trail leads to the summit.
Lakes and reservoirs in Oklahoma
With over 200 man-made reservoirs, Oklahoma has more reservoirs than any other U.S. state.
Broken Bow Lake
The Broken Bow Lake is located in southeast Oklahoma, near the city of Broken Bow. The reservoir, which is one of the largest lakes in Oklahoma with an area of approx. 57 km², extends to a large extent in the Ouachita Mountains. This area is covered with dense forest and is therefore a true paradise for nature lovers. The Mountain Fork River has been dammed here since 1968. The construction of the dam lasted from 1961 to 1968. There are many hiking trails around the lake, of which the Big Oak Nature Trail and the Beaver Lodge Nature Trail are particularly recommended. There are also two state parks, the Beavers Bend Resort Park and the Hochatown State Park.
The Eufaula Lake is located in the east of the state of Oklahoma, approx. 85 km southeast of the city of Tulsa. Eufaula Lake covers an area of approximately 425 km² and is the largest lake in Oklahoma in terms of area. The Canadian River has been dammed here by the Eufaula Dam since 1964. The Eufaula dam was built from 1956 to 1964 and primarily serves to generate energy. The Eufaula is a popular local recreation area, especially for anglers and friends of boating. There are two state parks on the shores of the lake, Eufaula Lake State Park and Arrowhead State Park.
Grand Lake o ‘the Cherokees
The Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees is located in northeastern Oklahoma at the foot of the Ozark Mountain Range. The Grand Lake o ‘the Cherokees, often only referred to as Grand Lake, covers an area of approximately 188 km². The Neosho River has been dammed here by the Pensacola Dam since 1940. The Pensacola Dam was built from 1938 to 1940. There are a total of 5 state parks around the lake, Little Blue-Disney State Park, Honey Creek State Park, Cherokee State Park, Bernice State Park and Twin Bridges State Park. A tour boat named Cherokee Queen has been on Grand Lake o ‘the Cherokees since the 1940s.
Great Salt Plains Lake
The Great Salt Plains Lake is located in northern Oklahoma. The lake is surrounded by the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge. The Great Salt Plains Lake covers an area of approximately 35 km² and has been dammed up since 1940. Due to its location on a salt flat plain, the salinity of the lake is very high, about 50 percent of the salinity of the ocean. Ralstin Island is located in the lake and is a particularly good retreat for herons and ibises. On the west bank of the lake, here is the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge, visitors can go looking for the glass crystals that are very common here. There is also the Great Salt Plains State Park on the east bank of the lake.
The lake Murray is located in the south of Oklahoma and covers an area of approximately 23 km². Lake Murray is completely enclosed by Lake Murray State Park, the largest state park in Oklahoma. Anadarche Creek and Fourche Maline Creek have been dammed here since 1937. Lake Murray along with Lake Murray State Park are a very popular local recreation area.
Robert S. Kerr Reservoir
The Robert S. Kerr Reservoir is located in eastern Oklahoma and covers a huge area of 382,686 km². Here the Arkansas River is dammed by the Robert S. Kerr Lock and Dam. These were built in 1970 and are used for energy generation. The lake and its surroundings are popular fishing and hunting areas.
Lake Texoma is a 103 km² reservoir in northeast Texas or south Oklahoma, it runs on the border between the two states. The Red River has been dammed here by the Denison Dam since 1944. Because of its size and proximity to the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, the area around the lake is a very popular local recreation area. There are 2 nature reserves, 2 state parks, 12 marinas and numerous resort facilities and campsites.